Civil Litigation, Human Rights and Extraterritorial Corporate Liability

The paper argues that the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) should extend the extraterritorial application of human rights to corporate liability. It should impose state obligations to provide effective legal frameworks and judicial remedies to extraterritorial victims of subsidiaries whose parent companies are incorporated in Member States of the ECtHR. While global south international human rights forums increasingly tackle state complicity in corporate harm, the ECtHR needs to acknowledge the role of its Member States in harboring parent corporations that financially benefit from the harms committed by its subsidiaries. The paper considers the extent to which the ECtHR holds states accountable for domestic corporate harms. It evaluates domestic civil litigation in the UK and Canada and legal approaches to delimiting parent company liability for extraterritorial subsidiaries. An enterprise theory of parent company liability can provide a human rights compliant regulatory regime.